Grigorii Silych Karelin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Karelin, Grigorii Silych


Born January 1801 in St. Petersburg Province; died Dec. 17 (29), 1872, in the city of Gur’ev. Russian explorer and naturalist.

Karelin graduated from a cadet school in St. Petersburg in 1817 and was exiled to Orenburg in 1822 for writing an epigram on Arakcheev. From 1827 to 1829 he traveled through the western part of Kazakhstan and mapped the location of the former Bukei Horde. Leading an expedition for the exploration of the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea in 1832, he mapped this part of the sea. Four years later he headed an expedition for the exploration of the eastern and southeastern shores of the Caspian Sea. Karelin and his companions mapped the gulfs of the eastern shore, including parts of the Kara-Bogaz-Gol; they gave the first description of the gulf. From 1840 to 1842, Karelin and the geographer and cartographer I. P. Kirilov explored Semirech’e and the upper course of the Irtysh and its tributaries and collected abundant materials on the flora.


“Puteshestviia po Kaspiiskomu moriu.” Zap. Russkogo geograficheskogo ob-va, 1883, vol. 10.


Pavlov, N. V. Naturalisty i puteshestvenniki Grigorii Silych Karelin(1801–1872) i ego vospitannik i drug Ivan Petrovich Kirilov (1821–1842), 2nd ed. Moscow, 1948.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.